Dream of:13 February 1996 "Dolphin"
I was trying to remember a dream and write it down. Instead of getting up and writing the dream immediately after I had dreamed it, I had lain in bed and tried to memorize all the details so I could write the dream later. I knew this was a poor method of remembering dreams, because when I would go back to sleep I would usually forget much if not all of the dream.
In the particular dream which I was trying to remember, I recalled I had been on the Hill in New Boston. I remembered I had been with another fellow at the bottom of the Hill and I had talked to him about "the lawyer in me" and "the judge in me," as if I were made up of many different people which I could call up at will. The other fellow and I had then started walking up the back side of the Hill.
As I continued trying to remember the dream, I began thinking about the way I wrote dreams, and of my desire to make the dreams intelligible to people who read them. I had been giving this subject considerable thought as of late, trying to come up with a formula which wouldn't break the continuity of the dream, and which would make the dream more understandable. And here I had an example of what I was talking about: the Hill in New Boston.
Certain places in my dreams recurred over and over; I had taken to emphasizing those places by capitalizing them when I wrote the dreams, for example, the "Hill in New Boston." But I also knew if someone were reading my dreams, the "Hill in New Boston," wouldn't mean anything in particular to the reader unless it were more clearly described. I could describe the Hill in the dream; I could say it was a high ridge of hills consisting of around 200 acres which my father owned in New Boston. I could describe how my father had owned the property for many years and had even once built a house on top of the Hill, and how I had lived there for a while. I could describe how the Hill sat above the Ohio River and what a panoramic view of the river lay below it.
However, how could I describe the Hill and yet make it clear that all these thoughts about the Hill and its history and meaning to me weren't actually in my consciousness while I was dreaming? It seemed it was necessary to give some history of the Hill – when I wrote the dream – to make the dream intelligible; and yet it also seemed necessary to make clear I wasn't consciously thinking these thoughts about the Hill as I was dreaming.
The only solution I could think of would be to set the descriptive narrative off in parentheses: I must work on setting off descriptive non-dream material in parentheses in such a way that the dream would be more clearly understood, while the continuity and flow of the written dream wouldn't be disturbed.
As I continued to think about the Hill, still wondering why I had dreamed about it, I dwelled upon thoughts of the beauty of the Hill, of the wonderful view of the valley below. Had my dream been trying to tell me something about that place? Perhaps I should build a house on the Hill. Perhaps after all my rambling I would end up going back to the very place I had left and discovering the beauty which I had left behind there.
Thinking more and more about the Hill, I found I was actually there. It was beautiful and green all around me. I was standing on one of the dirt roads which criss-crossed the top of the Hill, and I saw a field of green corn – higher than my head – growing beside the road. At the same time, I was still thinking of writing dreams, and thinking of the people who read my dreams. In fact, another fellow was now with me, and I recognized him as someone who read my dreams: Jacobs, who I usually thought of as JJ, but whose name I also thought was Jim Henson.
He was a tall, lanky, black-haired fellow (probably in his early 20s). He was more or less observing what I was doing, and I decided I wanted to send him a clear message. I knew that he had been reading my dreams for quite a while, and that I had read many of his dreams. I had long thought it might be possible for us to communicate to each other through the dreams themselves. It had taken a long time for me to reach this point, where I felt I was able to send a message to him in a dream, but now I was sure I could.
I asked him to get me a piece of string. He fumbled around until he came up with a ball of white string. He cut off a piece for me, but it was too short, and I directed him to hold the ball of string while I cut off a longer piece. With the string in hand, I then turned to the lush cornfield in front of me. I took hold of one of the long leaves hanging down from one stalk of corn. The leaf however didn't look like the leaf of a corn plant: it was long – perhaps a meter – and round.
I took hold of a similar leaf from another stalk of corn. I took both leaves and pulled them up in a loop so their tops were pointed upward right about the height of my head. I then took the string and tied the two tops together. When I let go, the leaves stayed together, held up in the air.
I felt quite emotional by this union, and I hoped JJ would see the significance of it. I thought it was a sign that we were united in a mutual effort to work with dreams.
There was still something else. I knew I would be writing down what I had just done, and there was a piece of it that I didn't feel I had described correctly: the leaves of the corn stalk. They hadn't looked like leaves at all. They had looked exactly like something else, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Suddenly it came to me: asparagus! The leaves had actually looked like long slender asparagus stalks, and when I had tied the tops together, it was as if I had been tying together two pieces of asparagus. How peculiar and yet how appropriate that seemed.
Still something else was occupying my thoughts: JJ's name. It seemed when I thought of him, I thought of him under another name: "Dolphin." I was unsure Dolphin was the name he used himself, or whether it was one which I had given him; but I was sure Dolphin was the appropriate name for him. Someone else on the Internet dream group where we wrote our dreams used the name "Two Dolphins," but I wasn't familiar with that person. I hoped if I referred to JJ as "Dolphin," he wouldn't think I was confusing him with "Two Dolphins."
I was hopeful that JJ and I would be able to deepen our dream connection. I was also hopeful we would be able to find someone else to join us. I already had someone in mind. I had read several of her dreams on the Internet dream group, and I thought her style was similar to mine and JJ's. I clearly (but inaccurately) remembered her name: Debbie (her actual name was Donna).
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